1927 Bugatti Type 35B

History

Though it is personal preference the Bugatti Type 35 is regarded by many as one of the most beautiful pre-war racers from the legendary Bugatti Company. Its beauty is matched by its accomplishments, is one of the most successful pre-war racer winning over 1000 races and capturing the 1926 Grand Prix World Championship with 351 races. During that two year period, it also claimed 47 records. From 1925 through 1929 the Bugatti Type 35 dominated the Targa Florio.

The first Bugatti Type 35 was introduced on August 3rd, 1924. It was powered by a modified engine used in the Type 29. The 3-valve 2-liter overhead cam straight-eight engine had five main bearings and producing around 90 horsepower. The suspension was comprised of leaf springs attached to solid axles. Stopping power was provided by drum brakes in the rear operated by cables which could be seen on the exterior of the vehicle. In total, there were 96 examples produced.

There were multiple versions of the Type 35 which were specifically designed to accommodate many types of racers. The Type 35A, nicknamed 'Tecla' was an inexpensive version of the Type 35 and made its first appeared in May of 1925. Its nickname was given by the public after a maker of imitation jewelry. The engine was a reliable unit borrowed from the Type 30. It used three bearings, had smaller valves, coil ignition, and produced less horsepower than its Type 35 sibling. In total 139 examples of the Type 35A were created.

Though Ettore Bugatti favored naturally aspirated engines, the Type 35C was given a Roots-Type supercharger which boosted power to an impressive 128 horsepower. There were only fifty examples created with many providing historic victories for the company. The Type 35C won the 1928 and 1930 French Grand Prix, undoubtedly their greatest accomplishments.

The Bugatti Type 35T, commonly known as the Targa Florio, was specially prepared for the Targa Florio race. There were only thirteen examples produced. It was powered by a 2.3-liter engine. When Grand Prix rules changed stating that engine displacement sizes of up to 2 liters were required, the Type 35T became obsolete and production ceased.

The Bugatti Type 35B was introduced in 1927 and was the final iteration of the Type 35 series. The name Type 35TC was pondered since it shared the same 2.3-liter engine as the Type 35T and a supercharger just like the Type 35C. The engine produced an astonishing 138 horsepower, by far the most of the Type 35 series. In total there were only 45 examples produced with one of their greatest accomplishments being the victory at the 1929 French Grand Prix.

The Type 39 was produced alongside the Type 35B but adhered to current Grand Prix regulations which limited engine capacities to 1.5 liters. Only ten examples of the Type 39 were produced.


By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2006
[I]Ettore Bugatti ushered in the golden years of the 1920s with the Type 35

Molsheim, 6 May 2019.
Light, strong, fast and elegant. The Bugatti Type 35 is one of the most successful racing cars of all time. And deservedly so: the French manufacturer's open-top sports car secured over 2,000 victories between 1924 and 1930. Today, the Type 35 is a legend in international motor sport. And a whole lot more besides.

'The Bugatti Type 35 is one of the icons of Bugatti's rich history and tradition. Back in 1924, the sports car was unparalleled in its technology, design and performance and the same still goes today. It is both an inspiration and a commitment,' says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. 'This makes the Type 35 one of the forefathers of our current hyper sports cars, the Chiron1, Chiron Sport2 and Divo3. Steeped in the Type 35's DNA, they are translating this tradition for the modern age.'

A technical masterpiece

The Type 35 was not just a racing car. It was a technical masterpiece: For the first time ever, the company's founder Ettore Bugatti used a crankshaft supported by two roller bearings and three ball bearings – and this crankshaft is still seen as a feat of engineering to this day. It could run at speeds of up to 6,000 rpm to power the eight pistons in the engine, which started out with a capacity of just 2.0 litres. At the time, it was one of the only car capable of achieving such power. Thanks to other changes – such as using two carburettors instead of one – the car's power increased to around 95 PS, which was transmitted by a wet multi-plate clutch. The drive system in the first versions of the Type 35 was able to achieve speeds of over 190 km/h. The less expensive basic model, the 35A, was based on a 2.0-litre eight-cylinder engine with 75 PS. In its later iteration, the Type 35 B (which had a 2.3-litre eight-cylinder engine and compressor), the Bugatti's power increased to up to 140 PS and its top speeds exceeded 215 km/h. As well as their incredible performance, the engines were primarily renowned for their reliability and endurance.

Even in the early 1920s, Ettore Bugatti had come to realise that, while plenty of power may be helpful, it has little effect in a heavy car. That's why he relentlessly pursued lightweight construction and the best driveability possible in his cars – more than any other engineer in the world of motor sport. Bugatti was the first to develop special smooth-running wheels to reduce the unsprung masses and, as a result, improve the response of the suspension. The wheels – made from cast aluminium with eight flat ribbon-style spokes, detachable rims and an integral brake drum – were an innovation. A rim ring stopped the tyre from popping off.

Lightweight front axle for better vehicle handling

To achieve this, Bugatti developed a new hollow, forged front axle with sealed ends. Weighing around ten kilograms, the axle was incredibly light but still stable. Unlike with its competitors, broken axles were quite rare. The unsprung masses were decreased even further and the Type 35 was able to take corners at higher speeds. The ready-to-run racing car weighed around 750 kilograms. Bugatti designed all models as pure racing vehicles, but also mounted wings and lighting at customer request to make them roadworthy.

Then came the sleek and elegant design – sculpture-like, just like the vehicle as a whole. The elegant, well-proportioned body with its slim, lightweight shell and pointed back end were made from a self-developed special alloy. Thanks to the wider radiator (the first radiator to have a flat bottom), the Type 35 had a more powerful road presence. The Type 35 was not regarded as the most beautiful racing vehicle of its time for nothing.

However, the newly developed Type 35's first race was not particularly successful. At the end of July 1924, Bugatti entered five Type 35s into the French Grand Prix in Lyon. Despite recording the quickest laps during training, the racing cars were defeated by their competitors in the race itself. Later on, however, it was discovered that it was not the engines or mechanics to blame for the poor result but the tyres – they had not been vulcanised properly and were unable to withstand the high speeds. At the next race in San Sebastian, the Type 35 managed to finish in second place, marking the start of an incredible career.

With the addition of a three-lobe Roots-type supercharger in 1926, the Type 35's power increased to a maximum of 140 PS. As a result, the racing car was not just light and agile, but also unbelievably powerful. To make sure the new supercharger fitted in with the overall aesthetics of the engine compartment, Bugatti had it designed especially. Beauty comes from within – Ettore Bugatti was already well aware of this over 90 years ago.

The new feature had a positive impact on the car's success, too. The supercharged variant, the Type 35 C, and its derivatives, the Type 35 T and Type 35 B, won countless Grand Prix races up to 1930, as well as the unofficial World Championship title in 1926 and five consecutive victories in the world's most famous road race, the Targa Florio. Renowned drivers like Alberto Divo, Tazio Nuvolari, Louis Chiron and Williams all took to the wheel of the Type 35. Even female racing drivers such as Hellé Nice and Eliska Junkova chose to drive the Type 35. Junkova achieved a legendary performance in the 1928 Targa Florio, leading the field for a considerable period before eventually finishing in fifth. In Germany, the Type 35 achieved its greatest triumph on the Nürburgring in 1929.

Bugatti built 340 Type 35s in total, though the exact production figures are now no longer clear. The Type 35 was replaced by its successor, the Type 54, in 1931. A large number of vehicles were still used in races and modified or converted for many years. Very few remain intact nowadays. The select few owners of a Type 35 can count themselves lucky. As Ettore Bugatti said himself: 'The Type 35 was the founding father of a family of pure-blooded racehorses from Molsheim – a true thoroughbred.' Its DNA lives on to this day in the French luxury brand's current model range.

Source - Bugatti

1927 Vehicle Profiles

1927 Bugatti Type 35B vehicle information

Boattail Racer

Chassis Num: 4884

The Bugatti Type 35B marked the introduction of a supercharger to the Type 35 line of Grand Prix cars. The Type 35B was built alongside the Type 39, which was designed in accord with updated 1926 Grand Prix regulation imposing an engine capacity of 1....[continue reading]

1927 Bugatti Type 35B vehicle information

Boattail Racer

Chassis Num: 4849

Formerly owned by Le Mans winner Duncan Hamilton.....[continue reading]

1927 Bugatti Type 35B vehicle information

Boattail Racer

Chassis Num: 4817
Engine Num: 194T

This 1927 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix car has its original body and chassis. Mounted under the bonnet is a factory-works-prepared 35B racing engine formerly in chassis number 4939. This car is chassis number 4817, though it is currently badged and ....[continue reading]

1927 Bugatti Type 35B vehicle information

Boattail Racer

Chassis Num: BC125

This vehicle is chassis number BC125 and was assigned by the Bugatti Owners Club in the UK. The car was made in Argentina some years ago and is an exact replica of a 1927 Grand Prix Car. The present owner purchased the car in Belgium in 2002 and has ....[continue reading]

1927 Bugatti Type 35B vehicle information

Boattail Racer

Chassis Num: 4863

The Bugatti Type 35 was unveiled at the Grand Prix of Lyon in August 1924. It was given a roller-bearing overhead-cam engine and was capable of producing nearly 100 horsepower, a very impressive figure for a normally aspirated two-liter machine in th....[continue reading]

Boattail Racer
Chassis #: 4884 
Boattail Racer
Chassis #: 4849 
Boattail Racer
Chassis #: 4817 
Boattail Racer
Chassis #: BC125 
Boattail Racer
Chassis #: 4863 


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Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Bugatti
1932Chevrolet (313,404)Ford (210,824)Plymouth (186,106)
1931Chevrolet (619,554)Ford (615,455)Buick (138,965)
1930Ford (1,140,710)Chevrolet (640,980)Buick (181,743)
1929Ford (1,507,132)Chevrolet (1,328,605)Buick (196,104)
1928Chevrolet (1,193,212)Ford (607,592)Willys Knight (231,360)
1927Chevrolet (1,001,820)Ford (367,213)Buick (255,160)
1926Ford (1,669,847)Chevrolet (547,724)Buick (266,753)
1925Ford (1,669,847)Chevrolet (306,479)Dodge (201,000)
1924Ford (1,831,128)Chevrolet (264,868)Dodge (193,861)
1923Ford (1,831,128)Chevrolet (323,182)Buick (210,572)
1922Ford (1,147,028)Dodge (152,673)Chevrolet (138,932)

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